Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pajama girl

I have to change the name of my blog—or at least the subtitle. I had a dream last night that I finally wrote a new post & then I was trying to look at it. In order to do that I was scrolling through other blogs to get to mine & I hit an X instead of an up key & BAM, my whole blog, every post I ever did, was gone. (Josh Brolin's wife's blog was the one right below mine, for anyone who wants to analyze my dream. Grin.) Anyway, in the dream I was very distressed, so I don't think I can really post under "written under duress" any more. Perhaps for the new year I will come up with a new subtitle…

I'm in Nye, Montana, where I grew up. My parents & I have played innumerable games of pitch. (It's such a good 3-person game.) Mom & I played (mostly lost) a bunch of pinochle against Dad & my baby brother Christmas night. Then Dad & I played (mostly lost) a different flavor of pinochle with our good friend Jo & Mom. (I'm really not a bad pinochle player, in case you were noticing the "I" in both of the mostly-lost teams. It was in the cards.)

Christmas eve & day were filled to bursting with friends &/or family & food & (to quote my friend Cathy) "all that sugar cookie, candy cane, smeared with the glitter of the holidays stuff." We know how to have fun up here in the mountains, & I'm pretty sure there's not a more loving family on the planet. My goal was to spend Christmas day in my nightgown & (Vietnamese silk) robe & I far exceeded that. I almost made it 3 full days, but on the 27th my dad had the wood & coal stove stoked up real good. The silk robe was much too hot! So I slipped a sleeveless dress on over my nightgown. Does that count? A girl has to have goals, after all.

I could go on & on about everything—feeding deer off the back deck, my folks & I meeting my ex-inlaws & my nieces from Australia for lunch, drawing with my sister's "grandchildren" (her ex-boyfriend's daughter's children) on Christmas morning, using expired Sponge Bob Deep Sea Bubble toothpaste (I think I'll throw it away when I leave—it's effectively childproof because you have to squeeze so hard to get it out, but I like it better than the tiny tube of crappy-tasting toothpaste I brought), dial-up e-mail, etcetera—but I won't.

Speaking of dial-up, I am writing this in my word processor & then (I hope) importing it into Blogger. With a picture even, of my shadow & the deer I was feeding. If there's no picture, you'll know dial-up was too wimpy to handle it.

My folks are out at a funeral. I went to one with them yesterday. There's a wedding this afternoon. I decided I could take one of each, but that was my limit. I have a big pan of very favorite beans simmering on the wood & coal stove, made with smoked turkey. Mom & I boiled up the carcass yesterday for stock & I picked the meat off the bones this morning. Should be delish. I hope all of you had fab holidays, too, & that the new year will bring more of the same.

Blog alternative:
110. Spend a day in your pajamas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Earl Grey vs. sky-diving into a hurricane

This is what mountain laurel looks like. It starts out as little stars & turns into bells. It's so beautiful--I can't imagine a better flower to be named after.

In a few days I'm heading north for the winter--or for a couple weeks of it anyway. Weatherwise, it could be a mistake, but I'm sure the warm company will make up for the temperature. White Christmases are nice anyway, as long as they're not too white for flying & driving.

I will not linger long here at this coffee shop. Perhaps I should call it a tea shop today, as that is what I am drinking. I took a big risk & ordered Earl Grey. On the risk scale, where 1 is getting out of bed & 100 is sky-diving into a hurricane, Earl Grey sounds like about a 4. But it was scary.

See, I used to love Earl Grey above all other teas. I drank it morning, noon & night. Cup after cup. (You can see where this is going, can't you, fellow O.D.ers....) Then came the day when bergamot--the flavoring that makes it Earl Grey rather than just another black tea--tasted like shampoo. Bleah. It's been years since I've had Earl Grey. But today, today I musta been feeling brave. I ordered; I let it steep; I added cream; I brought the cup to my lips


well, on a risk scale of 1 to 100, the Earl Grey was about a 4. I like it, I really like it. (Earl Grey is a distant cousin of Sally Fields.) But I'm not going to buy a box or give it an Oscar. Yet. I'll flirt with it occasionally at coffee--err, tea shops. Lapsang Souchong will retain its favored flavor status in the harem of teas. But Earl Grey is dusting off its ascot & derby, thinking of the day--cheerio!--when it actually lives in my kitchen & can compete cuppa a cuppa with the upstart.

I'm about done lingering over the Earl Grey. Things to do before I fly north for (a bit of) the winter. Gotta pack. Gotta look through the compost heap I call "outgoing" to see which things are oops-get-done-yesterday! & which have graduated to wonder-what-that-moldy-thing-was? (For those of you who are wondering what ever happened to the girl who Got Things Done, she confesses that it is a system spottily applied in her immediate universe. She's still getting lots more done than she used to, but she didn't turn into David Allen overnight. (For those of you who like her as Laurel Winter, you may be glad to hear that.))

Blog alternative:
109. Think of something you used to like until you overdid or overdosed. Then--be brave, grasshopper!--take a sip or a nibble or at least a whiff. (That's presuming it's a food or beverage. If it's an activity, do the sip/nibble/whiff equivalent.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A little bird told me--no, really!

We shall begin with the belated photo. (See previous post for details.)

We shall continue beginning with a weather report: Asheville, which has been droughting, had misty fog last night. Today, there was freak--& highly localized--rain of capers. It appeared to be centered around my table at the coffee shop & may have had something to do with the lox & cream cheese bagel, which comes with lettuce & tomato & (hold the) onions & (?) capers. The National Weather Service & my barista are arguing about the cause. In the meantime, I have humbly picked up all straying capers & deposited them in the trash.

I would have written before--through mist & drizzle & shower of capers--but the skittish herd of organic free-range wi-fi which has been scampering sporadically through my apartment appears to have been corralled & fitted with those bright orange radio tracking collars that the forest service puts on elk & bighorn sheep. Either that or someone has put invisible fence or an oil pipeline between me the wi-fis, disrupting their normal migration pattern. So, unless I traipse on out to a coffee shop, no wi-fi for me.

Therefore & thus, my numbers for December are not looking good. T'is the thirteenth & I've posted but thrice before this. (A surfeit of "th"s you think? I thought that's what you thought.) Anyway, this is your warning. If I get close enough to twelve to poke it with a long stick, I'll count myself lucky.

I'm still thinking about real estating. I considered making a re-offer on the place I already offered on, as it's still on the market. When I made my offer before, Labor Day weekend, it had been listed for a mere 3 weeks & the owners weren't nearly hungry enough. Now--perhaps. So I thought about it, but then I saw another house that was a possibility & thought about that &--well, I guess it's not a "Hell, yes," if you have to talk yourself into it or you can talk yourself out of it. Plus, taking off for the holidays is not conducive to real estating.

Besides, a little bird told me to wait. Actually, a little bird told me to go for a walk, which then led me to a gallery, where I looked at cool paintings & talked to the gallery owner a bit. Then I left & thought, well, maybe the little bird (An actual little bird, btw, which hopped near me when I was going to get in my car & seemed to convey--silently, with its little bird eyes--that I should walk NOW. So walk I did, to the post office & there it was again, or perhaps its cousin.) wanted me to do more than look at art there, so I went back in & said to the owner, "This might sound a little strange, but I'm thinking about acquiring a house & I wondered if you knew of any." She gave me the funniest look & said, "How did you know I'm a house guru? If I wasn't an art dealer, I'd be a real estate agent." So she gave me some advice about the market getting even better for buyers next year & said she'd keep her eyes open for me. I even told her about the little bird, which really made her laugh.

Blog alternative:
108. Pay extra close attention to your hunches today. Actively seek out a hunch on a subject. ("Where should I go for lunch?" perhaps.) Look for & listen to the little birds.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Oh, go ahead--blame the duck

I am making a duck, I think, & thinking about acquiring a new computer.

I am not actually making a duck--only other ducks can do that--so much as cooking a duck. The I think part stems from the fact that the duck has been in the oven (my first use of the oven here!) for far longer than the internet says a duck must be in the oven, & yet it seems not done to me. Perhaps my oven is not calibrated correctly. Perhaps my duck is a mutant, made not by other ducks, but by some strange process that renders it heat-resistant. (Okay, so the spellcheck just flagged the word renders--& the word okay--& the word spellcheck. I must be living in an alternate universe where spellcheck & ducks do not operate as the planet I was on earlier.)

I am thinking about acquiring a new computer because this one is making me a little crazy. Now I don't mind being a little crazy, so much, but this one keeps turning my wireless radio off & saying windows can't configure the internet connection & popping up annoying little earthlink dial-up windows--all of which prevents me from sending you pictures of my thumb with fast moving heart-shaped lavosh cracker & daisy, & mutant duck updates. (The photo was taken at Aroma's, in Zumbrota, Minnesota, before a Michael Monroe concert at the Crossings Gallery.) (Okay, so I must admit it was a fast-moving camera rather than a fast-moving cracker & daisy.)

Anyway, I am not getting a new computer tonight, so if you don't get this message, or if the picture is missing, you can blame the old computer. Or me. Or anyone you want to blame. Except the duck. Do not blame the duck.

You know what this is? this is part of the space that the picture was supposed to be in. I give up. The computer keeps resetting & doing stupid stuff while it's supposed to be looking for the picture. So, no picture. & man, it was really cool, too. I hope the post posts.

Ooh! I almost forgot: I bought a world map today at a little map store in Black Mountain, which was supposed to have closed 15 minutes before I arrived but did not in fact do so. It's a Buckminster Fuller projection--also known as the Dymaxion projection--& is way cool. I've been wanting one. It doesn't distort the shapes or sizes of the continents.

Blog alternative:
107. Look at a map of the world--Dymaxion, if you can get it--& pick a spot to shower some extra-special attention on.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Unlawful conduct subject

I was all set to write my blog & then I couldn't think of anything to blog about & then I thought I'd do a photo instead & then I started looking at my photos &--well, this is just to tell you I'm not really blogging today.


& I couldn't really decide which picture to put in, so ignore this one, from July 2006 in Racine, Wisconsin.

That might be about it.

If I was going to put a quote from The Art Spirit, it would be Real students go out of the beaten paths, whether beaten by themselves or by others, and have adventures with the unknown. However, since I'm not really blogging I won't do that.

& Blog alternative 106. would be
106. Pick something not to do & don't do it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Techno-damsel posts photograph--no one is injured

Hello from December!

It's officially winter now, according to Laurel. December, January & February are winter. March, April & May are spring. June, July, August--summer. I'll let you guess what the fall months are. Anyway, happy winter from Winter.

The weather is beautiful, crisp & sunny with some clouds in the forecast. I hope it rains. The mountains would enjoy sipping some precip.

My friend Bill has informed me that it is time to start adding photos to the blog. (You remember Bill--he's the one who informed me I was about to start blogging.) He told me it was easy as pie & he'd tell me how. I have decided not to techno-damsel. I'm about to try doing it myself.

Oh! It worked. (Don't sound so surprised, goddess previously known as techno-damsel.) That is a self-portrait reflection from a boat on Lake Titicaca in 2004, early February.

I was thinking of Peru today, because I am sponsoring a Peruvian boy's education--I met him in the jungle there in 2004; he was 5, & already working at a 2nd grade level--& I just got a little update from Dolly, who led our tour down there & set up the sponsorship program. So here's to dear, brilliant Jefferson.

Now a quote from The Art Spirit:

The best art the world has ever had is but the impress left by men who have thought less of making great art than of living full and completely with all their faculties in the enjoyment of full play. From these the result is inevitable.

Blog alternative:
105. Look at some photographs you took--or some that were taken of you.